VICTIMS OF WRONG-WAY CRASH ID’D
Authorities in Pueblo County have identified the man, woman and child killed late Thursday in a head-on, wrong-way crash on Interstate 25.
The State Patrol says 71-year-old Jackie Olmstead of Washington was driving south in the northbound lanes near Pueblo when he smashed his pickup into a sport utility vehicle driven by 51-year-old Michelle Massenburg of Colorado Springs. Olmstead and Massenburg were dead at the scene. Massenburg’s passenger, 9-year-old Elijah Hagger of Colorado Springs, also died at the scene.
The crash happened at 10:35 p.m. Thursday about 5 miles north of Pueblo, where Olmstead was behind the wheel of a 2009 Ford F-150 that was towing a U-Haul trailer. Massenburg was driving a 1999 GMC Jimmy.
Investigators have not said why they believe Olmstead was driving into oncoming traffic.
The State Patrol said the crash remains under investigation.
Officials warn of avalanche danger in mountains. Authorities were
warning of the potential for avalanches in parts of Colorado’s high country because of storms bringing snow and strong winds to the mountains. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said Sunday backcountry avalanches were possible in Aspen, Vail and Summit County, the San Juan mountains, Sangre de Cristos and parts of the Front Range.
The center said the most dangerous slopes were near and above treeline. It urged backcountry skiers to give themselves a wide buffer on steeper slopes, steering clear of visible rock formations and winddrifted areas.
Driver rear-ends bus, is killed B
fort collins» The driver of a blue Ford Ranger pickup hit a city bus about 8:17 p.m. Christmas Eve and later died, according to police.
A news release stated that the 23-year-old man was heading south in the right lane of the 5100 block of South College Avenue when he rear-ended the bus, which was traveling in the same direction.
An ambulance transported the man, whose identity hasn’t been released, to the Medical Center of the Rockies, where he died.
There were no passengers in the truck or bus, according to the release.
Southbound College Avenue was closed for about three hours, police said, as they investigated.
“Police believe speed and alcohol were contributing factors in the collision,” the release stated.
Police searching for man wanted on assault, drug charges B
colorado springs» Police are asking for the public’s help finding a man facing assault and drug charges who has eluded capture for several days. Carlo Striffolino, 42, is wanted on suspicion of first-degree assault, failure to comply, possession of a controlled substance, violation of a protection order and thirddegree assault, police said Sunday. He is distinguished by a tattoo on his neck saying “C.Springs 74.” Anyone with information can call police at 719-4447000.
Fire makes Christmas difficult for family B
ellicott» A fire broke out in an Ellicott home Friday, destroying parts of the house, charring the Christmas tree and putting a damper on one family’s holiday spirits.
The fire broke out about 10:50 a.m. at a residence on the 2100 block of Slocum Road, off Colorado 94, where Crystal Rogers has lived with her husband and two children since 2011.
Rogers and her family were helping a relative in Calhan move, but neighbors alerted them after seeing smoke coming from the house.
Firefighters arrived within 10 minutes, and the blaze was extinguished within an hour. But the living room was ruined, and many of the gifts Rogers and her husband had purchased for their 6- and 7-year-old sons were lost in the fire.
“The rest of the house is so smoke-damaged that nothing is left,” she said. “I managed to find a couple of my babies’ baby pictures, but other than that there was nothing we could take out of the house.”
The family’s three cats escaped to the garage and were not hurt.
El Paso County officials are investigating the cause of the fire. They believe it may have started near the Christmas tree, said Michael Henley, chief of the Ellicott Fire Department.
Rogers said she and her family will spend the holidays with relatives in Falcon.
“I’m heartbroken,” she said. “All of the memories that we made in that house — my baby taking his first steps was in that house. He’ll never have another first step.”